Ideologies and Recruitment


Organized hate groups are inherently fractious and are prone to infighting, leading to breakups and offshoots and name changes. It's for this reason that it is critical to understand that the underlying ideology that makes up the core messaging and agenda of hate movements. The threat of the network is greater than the threat of the formal group. Formal groups may split up, but the network remains. Name changes and rebrands of hate movements and groups can be confusing - sometimes intentionally. By understanding the underpinning ideology, community stakeholders can identify the threat and take action to protect the community sooner. 

  • An example of this fractious rebranding is the Islamophobic biker style group the Soldiers of Odin. When it first came to Canada from Finland, it was a coherent group. However, over time, due to infighting, there have been numerous offshoots with different names - all with the same underlying ideology. 
  • Another example is the alt-right movement, which rebranded after the deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville in 2017. Now, the "alt-right" is comprised of young men who call themselves "Groypers." Their language and how they describe themselves has changed, but the core ideology has not. 

Social Media and Recruitment

Young people spend an enormous amount of time on social media, and are exposed to many different platforms that carry the potential for hate movements to recruit and organize. Wherever there are youth online, there are hate movements and actors there looking to groom and recruit them. 

Nearly every online platform aimed at youth has hate propaganda on it. Game and meme platforms like Roblox and iFunny -- whose core demographics are children -- have been used for recruitment into terroristic neo-Nazi networks. Popular platforms like TikTok feed hate propaganda to youth at alarming rates. And, in a study by investigative journalism outlet Bellingcat, 39 of 75 fascists whose online posts they reviewed cited the Internet, and specifically YouTube as their primary source of radicalization into hate movements. 

This section of the toolkit includes:

  • A detailed explanation of various hate ideologies, including white nationalism, the alt-right, antisemitism, Islamophobia, anti-Black racism, anti-Indigenous racism, misogyny and anti-feminism, and anti-2SLGBTQIA+ hate
  • Information and concepts about social media and recruitment
  • How to use this toolkit


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Download the full Confronting and Preventing Hate in Canadian Schools Toolkit.

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